The much-rumoured 3D phone from Amazon is finally official. Amazon has taken the wraps off the Fire Phone, which features four camera sensors on top to specifically track the movement of your head to create what it calls “Dynamic Perspective”, a neat new feature alongside some new ideas on Amazon’s first-ever smartphone.
The Fire Phone, on paper at least, seems like many other mid-range smartphones that are available in the market today: it features a 4.7-inch 720p display, powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage, stereo speakers with Dolby Digital audio, and a 13MP rear camera that does 1080p videos. The front and back are covered in glass, while the sides are made from grippy rubber.
But then again, there aren’t any other smartphone today that can boast four front-facing camera sensors in a system that “responds to the way you hold, view, and move your phone.” This system lets you do things like scrolling through your web browser by tilting your head (or the device), and also enable what Amazon calls “Dynamic Perspective”: Amazon’s take on a 3D user interface. Dynamic Perspective responds and changes the display accordingly when you tilt your head or view the device from different angles, giving an interesting level of immersion that also extends to some of the preloaded apps.
On the other hand, the Fire Phone also features another interesting bit of technology: Firefly. Perhaps best described as a Shazam on steroids, Firefly “recognizes printed web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, artwork, movies, music, and millions of products, making it easy to discover information, share items with friends, and more.” It works incredibly easily too: simply press and hold the Firefly button and hover the device’s camera over something you’d like to know more of. Naturally, Firefly ties in seamlessly with Amazon’s expansive library of products in its store, letting you choose to purchase any item you’ve checked using the system.
Amazon further sweetens the Fire Phone with two more exclusive features. The first is the promise of unlimited cloud storage on Amazon’s cloud service for photo uploads, and the second is Mayday, a 24-hour customer service tool that answers any issues you may have with the Fire Phone. Besides that, Amazon’s other services, including X-Ray, ASAP, Second Screen and more are present in the Fire Phone, too.
The beating heart of the Fire Phone is Fire OS 3.5, the Android-based operating system seen in Amazon’s other devices. Of course, it’s been optimized for use on a smartphone. Besides the app drawer, a swipe gesture from either side will bring up useful pages such as an list of installed apps and shortcuts, or an Events page showing the latest notifications.
As you might expect, the Amazon Fire Phone is a US-only device, and is exclusively available for pre-order now on AT&T at $199 on a two-year contract. Amazon is also bundling one year’s subscription to the Amazon Prime service with every purchase. For more information about the Amazon Fire Phone, head on to its official product page here.